I picked this up at a thrift store recently, and gave it a watch as soon as I got home. Yes, I was this excited.
To start off my review of this lesser-known documentary video, here is a summary of it as seen on the back of the cover:
The saga of the Attack Helicopter has been full of hard-hitting action since its introduction as a troop escort to today's full-fledged frontline weapon system.
The legendary Huey Gunships and Cobras pounded Viet Cong strongholds to create the unique sights and sounds of Air Calvary. The Marine Corps' Super Cobras helped to defeat communist forces on the Carribean Island of Grenada during "Operation Urgent Fury."
The Army's new ultra-sophisticated AH-64 Apache is a dedicated tank killer, ready to combat the Soviet armored columns prepared to invade West Germany.
Striking fear across the battlefields of the world, no weapon system has become so lethal so quickly as the Attack Helicopter.
Okay, first impression: Just average Cold War-era propaganda aimed at those less knowledgeable on the subject, how we progressed in attack helicopter technology over the years, how the Apache is the most superior attack helicopter in the world, yada yada.
It starts off explaining how useful the helicopter would be to combat situations, and talked about its usefulness during the 1940's to the modern day (back in '89, of course). Then how it helped our efforts in the Vietnam conflict, and eventually paving the way to armed helicopters. However, there is a flaw here. They don't explain how they got to being armed... Vanderpool's armed helicopter kits, the "Old Ironside", the "Flying Bannana" gunships... they just immediately jump to armed Huey gunships, and later the AH-1. But like I said, this video is for those less knowledgeable on the subject. Beginners.
The historical footage is wonderful, definately a treat to war historians. However, at some points they edit different footage together to make it look cinematic, like a war movie. The narration even plays along with the made-up scene. Just plain cheesey in my opinion.
Some other rants I have are the designation screw-ups. Thirdly I stress how this video is for those less-... you get the picture. But come on, every time a Hughes OH-6 helicopter is shown, they call it an OH-58 "Kiowa"! To top that off, no REAL Kiowa is shown at any point in the video!!!! A lesser mistake is the mix-up of AH-1Gs with AH-1Ws, but that could just be an editorial mistake.
It ends with more boasting about the Apache and its superiority over all other developments, around the world. Even though they never talk about any specific international attack helicopter development at any time in the video. Typical.
From a scale of five stars, I rate this at a 2 and-a-half. It would've been a star higher, but the designation mistakes are huge problems in my opinion. That and the annoying promotion of the AH-64.
This is not for expert enthusiasts!
Great review. It was very dated to me and I hated it for all of the reasons you stated above. So many mistakes!
Do a review of Straight Up: Helicopters in Action next!
Yippie Kai Yay, Mr. Falcon.